BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (Oct. 19, 2012) — General Motors plans to idle production at its Bowling Green plant for six months to prepare for the next generation Corvette, the Associated Press reported today.
Production at the Corvette plant will stop in February to make way for retooling and renovating the body shop and retraining employees, spokesperson Monte Doran told the AP. Production on the new Corvette will begin in the third quarter of 2013.
Retooling while continuing production in Bowling Green was not feasible, Doran said, because the 2014 Corvette will be dramatically different from the Corvettes manufactured there now. Only two parts currently being used will carry over to the next generation of the iconic sports car: the interior cabin air filter and the rear latch for the removable roof panel.
“With the new Corvette, we set out to build a world-challenging sports car with design, refinement, efficiency and driver engagement that is second to none. The result is a truly all-new Corvette,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette chief engineer.
The interior of the 31-year-old plant — which employs 700 people — will be completely overhauled. There will be some temporary layoffs, the plant manager told the AP.
GM is investing $131 million in the plant for the production of the new Corvette, and has added 150 news jobs so far. It plans to eventually create 100 more jobs in Bowling Green.
The seventh-generation Corvette will debut Jan. 13 in Detroit. It will have a new emblem, a Crossed Flags logo, which has been a hallmark of the Corvette since its 1953 introduction. It has always incorporated a pair of flags, one a racing checkered flag and other featuring the Chevrolet “bowtie” emblem and a French fleur-de-lis. The design has evolved over the years, and has been featured on more than 1.5 million Corvettes built between 1953 and today.
Over coming weeks, more information and video content about the seventh-generation Corvette will be unlocked on www.one13thirteen.com. Enthusiasts can join the conversation about the next-generation Corvette, as well as keep track of new announcements on Facebook (facebook.com/corvette) and Twitter @Chevrolet(#Corvette). Fans that follow the #one13thirteen hashtag on Twitter can look forward to exclusive updates.